New Orleans Trades Reality For Revelry

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Good times are rolling in parts of New Orleans.

The Zulu social club parade is under way, one of the most popular of the Mardi Gras season. Carnival ends tonight, the conclusion of Fat Tuesday.

One east New Orleans family settled into a spot on a parade route at 5:30 this morning. Gregory Scott said it's a "big relief just to get out of the house and have fun." His house was wrecked by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Jazz clarinetist Pete Fountain lost everything in his Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, home in the hurricane. But he's returned at the head of his Half Fast Walking Club parade. Last year was the first time in almost 50 years that he wasn't participating. He was recovering from heart surgery.

Early indications from officials show a city rebounding from the disaster. The 30-thousand hotel rooms are mostly filled.